A Washington Post-mortem

One of the most storied newspapers in the country is dead, and they don’t even know it.

Officially, The Washington Post is still in business, but much like some other troubled papers (Hello, Boston Globe!!), the Post is ‘financially challenged’. They recently had to offer yet another buyout to some of their staff (the Post’s 5th such offer in the last 9 years) to cut costs. Even worse, the Post was also shut out of the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes, so their collective ego is getting it from all sides. Add in that the Washington Post Company’s primary source of money, Kaplan University, is getting serious heat from the Left, and you’ll forgive me if I don’t believe that they’re “getting better“.

Most of you are aware of the primary issue which the physical newspaper industry has been having: drastically falling revenues. From 2010:

It’s no secret why papers are struggling, either: the New Media is killing them. Online is faster, and it’s tailored to every interest. You have blogs, podcasts, and everything is now.  Add in Twitter and Facebook, and it’s no wonder newspapers are in such trouble.

But I have another idea as to their downfall. It’s also the degree of their self-denial, which is most prevalent in the Newspaper world, that prevents them from making changes that could stop the bleeding.

The Post and their ilk all truly believe themselves to be unbiased (….I know, I know, ..stop laughing…..) and market themselves as such, whereas New Media generally admits its bias, and the market obviously likes the honesty. You need look no further than the front page of this morning’s Post for what I mean.

Among various headlines, three caught my eye:

Well now, those are some headlines!!

  1. In the first one, I’m wondering if we ever saw an “Obama’s Secrets” in the Post from four years ago? I don’t have access to Lexis-Nexus, but I’m willing to bet any such headline like that would have been written in less of a “National Inquirer” tone. Any takers?
  2. In the “GOP Freshman class” headline, you have three nouns in there: GOP class, ‘monster’, and havoc. No need for a degree in Advertising to see where this article wants to lead you from the start.
  3. And in the last one, that headline makes Democrat Senator McCaskill sound positively heroic, as she tries to defend us from “swinging farther right” (…oh, the horror…!).

If they just OWNED UP to their slant, that would be infinitely better. It’s easier to respect an institution that is aware of both its positives and negatives. They could just hire someone to go on the nightly news one night and say: “Hey, folks, thought we’d come clean about somethin’. Just so you know, worldview-wise? Well, we’re comin’ at ya from waaaay over on the the LEFT, ‘kay? Thanks awfully……”.


But, of course, they won’t do that. Ever. So consider this a pre-eulogy for the once mighty Washington Post.

You’ll forgive me if I don’t shed a tear.

One response to “A Washington Post-mortem

  1. Pingback: I do love being ahead of the curve…. « Two Heads are Better Than One

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